Friday, May 30, 2008

Privilege cards for MIC members

MALACCA: A privilege card will be issued to the 630,000 MIC members as part of the party’s rebranding exercise in creating a corporate image apart from rewarding them, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.

He said the card, called the “Dhana” or Wealth Cards in Sanskrit, would allow each member to enjoy at least 20 benefits and privileges.

They include special healthcare programmes, mobile phone offers and discounts on newspaper advertisements, motorcycles, automobile, entertainment and retail outlets as well as travel.

Speaking at the opening of the 62nd Malacca MIC delegates conference here, Samy Vellu said MIC would be the first political party to offer a discount and privilege card to its members when it is implemented.

“The MIC’s 630,000 members are a powerful economic force and it’s time to bargain economic privileges for party members,” he said, adding that its value and features must appeal to members especially to the youth segment.

He said the card was also to show the party’s appreciation to members for their loyalty and sacrifices.

Samy Vellu said he has also asked the party headquarters to compile the members’ photographs and vital information to enable the cards to be issued.

“I hope members will cooperate with the MIC headquarters by submitting their photographs,” he said, adding that it would take some time before all the members were issued with their card.

He said the party would also hold discussions with other big shopping stores or malls, petrol stations, travel agencies, airlines, hotels, car rental companies and other related companies to provide ‘Dhana' cardholders with discounts and other privileges.

“It is actually to the advantage of these companies as they will have 630,000 loyal clients who will make purchases at their stores or companies,” he said.

Samy Vellu said the card would contain the MIC’s logo that will also serve as an attraction for more new members to join the party, he said

Nijhar quits as MIC veep

KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran MIC leader Tan Sri K.S. Nijhar has quit as party vice-president and he did it via SMS.

But it was not in a huff. The 72-year-old Nijhar who has been the vice-president for three terms, had announced his intention to resign at the last committee meeting early this month.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the committee accepted Nijhar’s resignation at yesterday’s meeting.

On the reasons for Nijhar's resignation, Samy Vellu said the former Subang MP had stated his intention in the press.

“I don’t have any quarrels with him,” he said.

Nijhar, when contacted, said that he had sent text messages to Samy Vellu and secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam on his resignation.

“I have nothing against Samy Vellu. We have only minor disagreements on some issues,” he said.

He said that he had already stated that the decision to quit was not against Samy Vellu or anybody else in the party.

“I won’t be where I am in politics without Samy Vellu's help. I am very grateful.

“It is just that sooner or later, I have to call it a day from politics. I remain a life member of the party and would be available to serve again if needed,” said Nijhar.

Nijhar joined MIC in 1973 and had held several positions including treasurer-general, CWC member and secretary-general before being elected as a vice president in 2000. He retained the vice president’s post in 2003 and 2006.

He was appointed a senator for six years and served as parliamentary secretary of the International Trade and Industry Ministry from June 1989 to June 1991.

Nijhar had also contested and won the Subang parliamentary seat in 1999 and 2004 but was not fielded in the March 8 general election.

He had expressed displeasure after he was dropped from the MIC election line-up this year.

Biasiswa JPA pelajar bukan Melayu naik kepada 45 peratus

KUALA LUMPUR 28 Mei – Biasiswa Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) untuk program ijazah di luar negara kepada pelajar bukan bumiputera dinaikkan kepada 45 peratus daripada 10 peratus mulai tahun ini.

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz berkata, secara keseluruhan sebanyak 2,000 biasiswa disediakan oleh JPA iaitu 1,100 untuk bumiputera dan 900 untuk bukan bumiputera.

“Pecahannya ialah 50 peratus untuk bumiputera dan 45 peratus kepada bukan bumiputera berbanding sebelum ini hanya 10 peratus sahaja diberikan kepada bukan bumiputera,” katanya ketika menggulung perbahasan mengenai Rang Undang-undang Perbekalan Tambahan 2008 (2007) melibatkan RM60 juta kepada JPA di Dewan Rakyat hari ini.

Nazri berkata, hanya mereka yang benar-benar layak akan menerima biasiswa itu kerana permohonan yang diterima ialah sebanyak 15,220.

Daripada jumlah itu katanya, hanya 7,282 dipanggil temuduga dan hanya mereka yang benar-benar menepati kriteria sahaja dipilih.

“Kriteria pemilihan ialah 70 peratus untuk akademik, 10 peratus kegiatan kokurikulum, 10 peratus latar belakang keluarga dan 10 peratus lagi temuduga,” katanya.

Nazri berkata, tajaan JPA adalah untuk pelajar yang mendapat tempat di universiti bertaraf “Ivy Leaque” dan yang setara dengannya di luar negara, serta bagi pengajian ijazah pertama di universiti kampus cawangan seperti di Universiti Monash, Universiti Nottingham dan Universiti Curtins.

Mulai tahun ini juga katanya, lepasan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2007 yang memperoleh 9A ke atas akan menerima biasiswa Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) untuk melanjutkan pengajian ke tingkatan enam di sekolah bantuan penuh kerajaan dan kursus matrikulasi serta asasi sains di institusi pengajian tinggi awam (IPTA).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

MIC not profiteering from RM300mil request

IPOH: The proposed RM300mil annual fund aimed at improving the Indian community will not be handled by the MIC, its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.

Hitting out at critics that the proposal was another scam by the MIC to make money out of the Indian community, Samy Vellu said:

“Not a single sen of the RM300mil yearly allocation sought to raise the equity of Indians will pass through the MIC.”The party, he said, would have no hand in the decision-making, selection process or the disbursement of funds.

“The money is to be given out in the form of loans by financial institutions as well as development programmes and support schemes by government agencies,” he told reporters Monday before opening the Perak MIC Convention here.

As the ones who initiated the proposal, Samy Vellu said the MIC, through its Social Rehabilitation Foundation, could act as part of a monitoring body.

He detailed that of the total yearly amount being sought from the Government under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, RM100mil would be disbursed in loans or grants to the poor for the purpose of trust fund investments.

“The funds are to be handled by Permodalan Nasional Bhd or any others set by the Government,” he explained.

He said RM50mil would go towards loans to help small and medium industries or enterprises, RM30mil in micro-credit loans for 2,000 participants, and RM10mil to agro-based businesses.

“Under the Tamil schools development programme, RM50mil will be used to build new schools, and RM15mil for 100 new pre-schools and RM30mil to create hostel facilities at 50 schools on a yearly basis,” he said.

Another RM15mil would be used to help displaced poor families and single mothers under a welfare support scheme, he added.

Noting that the proposal had already been submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in-charge-of the Economic Planning Unit Senator Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz, he said the MIC would later be meeting the Prime Minister on the proposed fund next week.

“Hopefully, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will make a favourable announcement when he opens the MIC national convention in July,” he added.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Blogging bandwagon for MIC

IPOH: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has urged party leaders to set up their own weblogs (blogs) in an effort to re-brand the Barisan Nasional component party.

MIC would be using the Internet more widely to increase knowledge and understanding of the party's struggles and initiatives, he said.

“We will use it to reach out to professionals and youths. Our leaders need to teach themselves to use the Internet and if possible, create their own blogs,” he told reporters before opening the Perak MIC convention here on Sunday.

Samy Vellu said that the majority of leaders at division and branch levels were still not Net-savvy, so the party would teach those who were willing to learn.

“Soon, we will launch our own portal which would allow the people to take part in discussions.

“We will also make it compulsory for each state committee to have its own website and to update them daily,” he added.

MIC would be spending RM400,000 to equip some 160 divisions with computers and other equipment.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Professionals, youths to be roped in to run MIC

KANGAR: More professionals and youths will be roped in to run the MIC branches in a bid to regain the Indian community's trust and confidence in the party and Barisan Nasional, president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.

He said the MIC would have to think of new strategies to woo them into the party as previous approaches may have not been acceptable.

Speaking Friday at the opening of the Perlis MIC state convention here, he said the party has set its sights on young graduates.

He also said the MIC would discard the “old methods” that had prevented them from voicing their ideas and dissatisfaction through the party.

“We want to allow for more voices, especially from the professionals and youths, to be heard,” he said, adding that the move was part of the party’s re-branding exercise that was launched recently.

Samy Vellu said the time has come for the party to re-look at the way the branches and divisions have been operating and inject new dynamism and work culture among the leaders.

He said what the party needed to do now was to stop the “soul searching" process and the “denial syndrome” and get on with the job of rejuvenating the MIC.

He said that the MIC would give its “full backing” for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to fulfil the pledges made by the Barisan Nasional in the last general election.

“This is our priority now. We want the Government to fulfil all its pledges made in the Ninth Malaysia Plan for the Indians,” he said, adding that by doing so, it would regain the Indians’ trust in the Government and the Barisan Nasional.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

MIC takes up case for PSD rejects

KUALA LUMPUR: The MIC has appealed to the Government to reconsider the appeal of 187 Indian high achievers who were unsuccessful in their applications for Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships this year.

Party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Wednesday he made the appeal during a meeting with Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan.

He said Sidek was very receptive and promised to do his best to help.

This year, only 72 Indian students received PSD scholarships out of the 2,000 scholarships awarded.

Samy Vellu said MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, who is the Human Resources Minister, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department S.K. Devamany and MIC Education Bureau chief Prof Datuk Dr T. Marimuthu would also meet PSD director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam over the issue.

He also urged students, who had appealed through MIC, to inform the party headquarters if they received fresh offers of scholarships from the Government.

“This will help the MIC keep tabs on things. Previously, the successful students did not bother to inform the MIC if their appeals were successful or otherwise, making it difficult for us to gauge our success in securing government scholarships,” Samy Vellu said.

Call to honour election pledges

PUTRAJAYA: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has called on the Prime Minister to honour pledges made by the Barisan Nasional in the run-up to the March 8 general election.

He said the time had come for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Barisan Nasional head and Umno president, to turn into reality the promises made to the people.

“While the MIC fully backs the leadership of Abdullah as prime minister and BN chief, we feel it is his duty to ensure all promises made are kept,” said Samy Vellu. – Bernama

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Waythamoorthy Told To Resolve Hindraf Issues At Home

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 (Bernama) -- Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairman P. Waythamoorthy, who is reported to be in London, has been urged to return home and stop seeking foreign support for its cause.

Malaysian Indian Youth Council president A. Rajaratnam said Waythamoorthy's effort would not solve problems but would instead tarnish the good name of the country.

"This is bad for the country. He has to come back," Rajaratnam told Bernama here Friday.

He was commenting on lawyer Waythamoorthy's effort in canvassing for support from the international community over Hindraf's cause and the arrest of five of its leaders under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since Dec 13 last year.

Hindraf leaders, namely lawyer and Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M. Manoharan, P. Uthayakumar (Waythamoorthy's brother), V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and bank officer K.Vasantha are held under the ISA for organising a Hindraf street demonstration last Nov 25.

"He should return to face the truth. He had gone to the United Nations and Britain. The general election had been held and the Indian community had given their verdict, so he has to come home to correct the situation," said Rajaratnam.

He said Waythamoorthy should register Hindraf as a legitimate body if it was genuinely championing the rights and interests of the Indian community in the country.

"Now it is time to make peace and continue the struggle in a united society. Since Hindraf already has a voice in parliament, use the opportunity to raise the issues being championed," he said.

Suhakam commissioner and Social Strategic Foundation executive director Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria said Hindraf leaders would continue with their struggle if the goverment ignored its demands.

"The government must seriously look into the grievances of Hindraf and other groups, especially over the ISA issue. The government can't hide because we are now in a global world and we have many global institutions, such as Transparency International, monitoring the situation.

"On the economic grievances (of Indians), the government has taken action but the argument will remain unless we solve the issues completely," he said when contacted.

Malaysia Hindu Sangam Association president Datuk A. Vaithilingam said he believed the matter could be resolved at the negotiation table after MIC discussed the issues raised by Hindraf openly.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had called for the release of the Hindraf leaders but Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar responded that the government had no intention of doing that soon.

"This can be solved through discussions. We can ask the Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain to meet Waythamoorthy and discuss Hindraf's demands," said Vaithilingam.

However, Vaithilingam said it would be better for Waythamoorthy to return home to resolve the issues.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Urged to reconsider

In IPOH, MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan called on Dr Mahathir to reconsider his decision.

Speaking at a press conference after a Wesak Day celebration at the Malaysian Buddhist Associatino (Perak branch) hall here, Ong said he was saddened by Dr Mahathir's sudden announcement.

Barisan Nasional was currently facing a huge challenge and his decision would not benefit Umno and the coalition, said Ong, who is also Housing and Local Government Minister.

As a former Prime Minister, his words carried weight and would affect all levels of the people including party leaders, he said.

“We do not hope for any more problems and neither should we create more,” he said. “Our country needs stability and not uncertainty. His decision would paint a bad impression for the rakyat (citizenry) and foreign investors,” he added.

Lumut Umno division chief Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir also urged Dr Mahathir to reconsider his decision.

“I feel very sad with Tun's decision to leave the party. It should not have happened in the first place,” he said.

Dr Zambry, who is also Pangkor assemblyman, said Dr Mahathir was a great leader who provided a sense of direction and ideas for the party and country.

The problem involved a former president and the present one, he said, adding that it so happened that the predecessor had appointed the current one.

“So it is a complex issue,” he said, adding that the current leadership must immediately find ways to overcome the problems in the party.

Dr Zambry pointed out that it was not unprecedented for former party presidents to quit Umno, adding that Dr Mahathir was the party's fourth president to leave the party.

The other three were the late Datuk Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn, he added.

In PETALING JAYA, Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said Dr Mahathir's decision would not solve the problems faced by the party and would instead give more strength to the Opposition.

"At this time when the party is under stress, all parties including leaders and former leaders must work together to heal Umno so it becomes firm and strong," she said.

In MALACCA, Umno veteran and stalwart Tan Sri Aziz Tapa, 85, said that he was shocked at the news and was at a loss for words.

“How can it be when he (Mahathir) says that he loves Umno? I met him only few days ago in Johor and everything seemed okay. What he is doing is not right,” he said when contacted here on Monday.

Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik described the move as an "interesting but tragic development" for Umno.

"It's shocking news to me. If true, then I would say that it is an interesting yet tragic development for the party,” he said.

Reacting to Dr Mahathir's resignation, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said, “This will weaken the party at a time when it is facing its enemies.”

PM Abdullah: Shocked

Abdullah said he was shocked by the decision and, despite their differences, had not expected him to leave.

However, the beleaguered premier said he would stay on and fight for the party.

“Perhaps some other members might leave too, but this won’t entirely affect the party. It all depends on whether the rest want to stay on and continue to fight for the party too,” he said.

Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak expressed his shock and sadness too.

Najib, who read a prepared statement to Malaysian reporters at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, said he was prepared to meet Dr Mahathir to discuss his decision.

"I will also discuss with Datuk Seri Abdullah, whom I had contacted just now, on efforts to strengthen Umno and also the issue of leadership transition in the party.

"I hope all Umno members will stay calm and give support to our efforts to strengthen the party," he added.

In KLANG: Former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo said Dr Mahathir’s decision will affect public perception of Umno’s strength and possibly discourage youngsters from joining the party.

Many of those aged below 40 years grew up during Dr Mahathir’s premiership and hold him in high regard.

“Dr Mahathir’s resignation will have a huge impact on the trust that this group of people, including the Malays, have in Umno and its capability to lead the country,” he said.

He said youngsters wanting to join the party now might also shy away as questions would be raised on Umno’s ability to be effective as a party.

“These youngsters might not join other parties but they will stay away until Umno can mend the current situation and avoid splits in the party,” he said.

In PUTRAJAYA, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said it was a bad time for Dr Mahathir to quit Umno as the party was going through a difficult period.

He said the resignation would not help in efforts to rebuild Umno.

"He is doing more damage than good; whatever it is, the party is still looking for a new direction and we need everyone to remain united and not split," he said.

Syed Hamid expressed fear for the future of Umno because Dr Mahathir had a great influence and a person of his stature could rattle and destroy the party.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said Dr Mahathir's hatred for Abdullah was seemingly stronger than his love for Umno.

He said the former premier should realise that asking others to follow his footsteps would only make it easier for Pakatan Rakyat to take over the Federal Government.

"What he is saying is that if you love Umno, leave Umno -- it does not make sense," he said.

Shahrir also said that Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir should be the first to take up his father's suggestion to quit.

Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said he was surprised at the decision, but added that it was Dr Mahathir's right to do so.

"Every member has the right to join or leave the party," he said.

Asked if Umno would convene an emergency meeting, the former Umno vice-president and Selangor Mentri Besar said that "we will wait and see."

The next Umno Supreme Council meeting is scheduled to be held within two to three weeks.

Dr M quit Umno

ALOR STAR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and veteran party man Tan Sri Sanusi Junid announced Monday that they are quitting Umno.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced this on Monday at 12.35pm, citing a lack of confidence in the current leadership.

"I am quitting Umno today," he told about 1,000 people, mostly Kedah Umno members, at a talk here on Monday.

"I will write a letter to Umno headquarters to inform that I have quit the party," he said.

He has been critical of his appointed successor Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, blaming the current Umno president for the party's disappointing performance in the 12th general election.

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, of which Umno is the largest component party, won the March 8 election with a simple majority, and saw four more states join Kelantan under Opposition rule.

Dr Mahathir urged other party members to quit too, as a way of pressuring Abdullah into vacating his post.

However, he advised those who do quit not to join any opposition party, adding they can all rejoin the party once there is a change in leadership.

Abdullah has so far refused all calls for him to step down, and said he would defend his presidency in the party polls in December.

Dr Mahathir joined Umno at its inception in 1946.

He became a Member of Parliament in 1964 when he won the Kota Setar Selatan seat.

He lost the seat in the following general election in 1969.

Following the May 13, 1969, riots Dr Mahathir was sacked from the Umno Supreme Council on July 12 because of the widespread distribution of his letter to first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman criticising Tunku’s manner of handling the country’s administration.

Dr Mahathir rejoined Umno on March 7, 1972 and was appointed Senator in 1973. He relinquished the senatorship post a year later to contest the Kubang Pasu seat in the general elections. He was returned unopposed and was appointed Minister of Education.

In 1975, Dr Mahathir became one of the three vice-presidents of Umno.

Tun Hussein Onn appointed Dr Mahathir Deputy Prime Minister on Sept 15, 1978.

Dr Mahathir was Prime Minister of Malaysia from July 16, 1981, until Oct 31, 2003.


1946: Joined United Malays National Organisation (Umno).

1947: While a medical student, he wrote extensive anti-colonial commentaries in Malay newspapers under the pen-name "Che Det".

1957: Resigned from government service as a doctor. Starts private practice.

1964: Entered active politics as Kota Star Selatan MP.

1965-1969: Member, Umno Supreme Council.

Sept 1969: Expelled from Umno for disciplinary reasons. Re-admitted on March 7, 1972.

June 1972: Elected a member of the Umno Supreme Council with the highest number of votes. Lost in the election for an Umno Vice-President post.

Dec 1972: Appointed a Senator by the Kedah State Legislative Assembly.

1974-2004: MP for Kubang Pasu, Kedah.

Sept 1974: Education Minister.

June 1975: Umno Vice-President.

March 1976: Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Education.

1977: Acting Chairman, Umno Liaison Committee, Malacca.

Jan 1978: Deputy Prime Minister & Trade and Industry Minister.

May 1978: Chairman, Perak Umno Liaison Committee.

Sept 1978: Umno Deputy President.

June 1981: Barisan Nasional Chairman.

June 1981: Umno President.

July 16 1981: Fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Minister of Defence (until 1986) and Minister of Home Affairs (until 1999).

July 17 1987: Umno Political Bureau Chairman.

Feb 16 1988: Pro-tem President of Umno Baru. Umno was declared an illegal society on Feb 4, 1988.

Dec 1993: Kelantan Umno Chairman. Chairman, Politics and Constitution Committees of the Supreme Council.

Sept 1998-Jan 1999: Finance Minister. June 2001 - Finance Minister.

June 22 2002: Announced his intention to resign from all political and government posts at the final day of the 56th Umno assembly. Appeals from Umno Supreme Council members.

Oct 31 2003: Retired as PM and Umno president after 22 years.

Sept 2006: Fails in bid to be an Umno delegate for the Umno general assembly coming in ninth out of 15 contestants in the Kubang Pasu division.

May 19 2008: Quits Umno

MIC asks Govt for RM300mil to assist Indians

Sunday, May 18 2008, The Star

JOHOR BARU: The MIC is seeking a yearly allocation of RM300mil from the Government to raise the equity of Indians.

Its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said most of the allocation would be used to help poor Indians.

“The fund will also be spent on agro-based business development and schools affairs,” he said.

Samy Vellu said a proposal had been submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in-charge-of the Economic Planning Unit Senator Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz.

“We will meet with the Prime Minister on this matter next week,” he told reporters at the 62nd MIC Convention here yesterday. The party is in the midst of rebranding itself.

At the event, Samy Vellu also met 10 people seeking clarification on Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) matters.

The group wanted to know the situation of five Hindraf leaders currently detained under the Internal Security Act.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hindraf leader ‘still has his passport’

Saturday May 17, 2008 - The Star

PUTRAJAYA: The Government has not revoked Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy’s passport, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said.

He said there was no truth to such claims by Amnesty International, adding that as far as he was concerned, Waythamoorthy, who is in London, was still in possession of his passport.

“I am surprised by this report. I would assume that Amnesty would check its facts before making such a statement to the press as such claims can be sensationalised.

“I am not really aware of what has happened to Waythamoorthy, but as far as I am concerned, the Government has not ordered for his passport to be revoked. If he wants to return to Malaysia, he can do so,” he told The Star yesterday.

According to an AFP report quoting Amnesty’s Washington-based Asia-Pacific advocacy director T, Kumar, Waythamoorthy’s visit to the United States has been put off because “of his passport’s cancellation.”

According to the report, the Hindraf leader had planned to visit Washington for talks with leaders of the US Congress, Amnesty and other rights groups to highlight alleged discriminatory policies against Indians in Malaysia as well as the arrests under Internal Security Act of five senior movement members.

Waythamoorthy claimed British immigration officers informed him that his passport was revoked upon his return to London from Geneva after visiting the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights office there.

Syed Hamid said the Government would not revoke the passport of its citizen unless the person relinquished his citizenship and when this occurred, all documents to prove his Malaysian citizenship must be surrendered.

He said the “misunderstanding” was probably because Waytha-moorthy’s passport had expired and he could have his passport renewed at the Malaysian High Commission in London.

Meanwhile, the Prisons Department said in a statement yesterday that Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee P. Uthayakumar received medical treatment 10 times until April 14 at government hospitals and clinics since being detained at the Kamunting detention centre in Taiping last November.

It said he was also supplied with various types of medicine for his diabetic condition.

Source :

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Karpal queries DAP, Pakatan leaders' silence - Malaysiakini

Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | May 10, 08 10:10am

Amidst the uproar from Barisan Nasional leaders over Karpal Singh’s remarks regarding Perak Sultan Azlan Shah’s order for a senior civil servant to be reinstated, the DAP chairperson has expressed surprise about the noticeable silence from his own party members.

“My own party leaders have not condemned me for saying what I said. On the other hand, they have not come out openly to support me, which is unfortunate,” he told a press conference at his office in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“When it comes to the crunch, the party must, should stand by its chairman as long as the chairman is telling the truth,” he added.Karpal’s comments come on the heels of several police reports and statements by BN and Malay leaders - including Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Najib Razak - against his statements on the Perak Sultan.

Azlan Shah had ordered for the reinstatement of the state’s Islamic Department director Jamry Sury after the latter was transferred to another department following what was alleged to be his refusal to cooperate with the new Pakatan Rakyat state government.

In response to the sultan’s orders, Karpal said early this month that Azlan Shah had acted beyond his powers as under the country's law, the Pakatan-led state government had every right to transfer Jamry as he is a government servant.

Commenting on this Thursday, Abdullah claimed that what Karpal said was seditious, insulting to the Sultan and tantamount to questioning his prerogative and knowledge of his scope of duties as the state’s head of religion.

Najib, on the other hand, described Karpal’s statement as incorrect as the federal and state constitutions legally allow the sultan to act as he did.

Perak MB also quiet

Several police reports were also made by Barisan Nasional MPs and a Malay NGOs coalition, who accused Karpal of being seditious, rude and having insulted the institution of Malay rulers.
Following this, Karpal said yesterday that the police were scheduled to see him tomorrow morning at his office in Penang.

While Karpal said he will not back down from his stand on the issue despite the police reports against him and what he described as moves to ‘intimidate’ him, he was also wondering why his own party members and other leaders from the Pakatan coalition were muted on the issue.

“Publicly, I have not seen any statements (by DAP leaders), at least in print,” said Karpal.Asked why there were no such statements supporting him, Karpal said:

“I don’t know. They should back me, right?”

Meanwhile, in the Star, Perak Menteri Besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin was reported to have kept mum on Karpal’s comment that Nizar had ‘wilted and buckled’ under royal pressure.

Asked about Karpal’s statement that he had bowed down by apologising to Azlan Shah over Jamry’s reinstatement, Nizar was quoted as having said: “

“No. No. No. No statement from me,” said the report yesterday.

-, Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | May 10, 08 10:10am

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Johor MIC holds meet-the-people sessions

Friday May 9, 2008 -

JOHOR BARU: State MIC leaders including assemblymen and councillors will have a meet-the-people session once a week to resolve problems faced by the public.

Johor MIC chief Datuk K.S. Balakrishnan said that people with any problems, whether related to obtaining birth certificates or business licenses, could visit the state MIC headquarters in Jalan Seget on Mondays between 9.30am and 1pm.

“We are aware that there are many problems faced by Indians and decided to have this session to address the problems.

“This is a good opportunity for us to reach out to the grassroots,” he said, adding that people could get all the help under one roof.

Balakrishnan said the presence of councillors from Johor Baru City Hall (MBJB) and Central Johor Baru Municipal Council would make it easy for people who wanted to apply for business licences.

“They can even meet the councillors if they want to complain about clogged drains or uncollected rubbish,” he said, adding that he was happy with the turnout on Monday.

Balakrishnan said that most of the problems addressed during the sessions were related to birth certificates, licences, housing loans and recommendation letters for permits.

“Anyone can walk into the MIC office without appointments, and it is not just open to Indians.

“In fact, during our first session, we had two Malay ladies who wanted help in matters regarding MBJB,” he said, adding that the state leadership decided on this approach to win public support.

Balakrishnan said the move was not on ad hoc basis, and all complaints would be registered and followed up with the appropriate government agencies to resolve the problems.

Asked on other plans to win support for the party, he said that all assemblymen and division leaders were required to attend public functions to ensure they were in touch with the grassroots.

Picture: Balakrishnan (left) watching MIC assemblymen and councillors attending to problems faced by the public during the meet-the-people session at the state MIC headquarters in Jalan Segget, Johor Baru, on Monday.

Make full use of what MIC has to offer, youths told

Saturday May 10, 2008 -

SABAI assemblyman Datuk M. Devendran has called on Indian youths to fully utilise opportunities given by MIC, reported Tamil Nesan.

He said to ensure more Indians were educated, MIC had built Tafe College and also AIMST University.

Currently, there are around 1,500 students at Tafe College and there are still places available for Indian students to pursue their higher education.

Devendran was speaking to reporters after opening the fifth annual delegates conference of the MIC Indera Makhota district held in Kuantan on Thursday.

He said although MIC had suffered heavy defeat in the recent elections, it had not lost its focus and would continue its efforts to gain the people’s confidence.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Partially-aided Tamil schools need help too

Monday May 5, 2008- the star

TAPAH: The Government should stop using the excuse that it cannot help 373 Tamil schools because they are partially aided.

MIC central working committee member Datuk M. Saravanan, who is also Deputy Federal Territories Minister, said the Government should not run away from its commitment to build or upgrade these schools because of their status.

Of the 523 Tamil schools in the country, 373 are partially-aided and built mostly on private land, he said.

“One of the reasons we lost the support of the Indian community was because the Government could not understand our needs and wants,” he told reporters yesterday.

“The Indian community is not asking for mega projects like the Twin Towers. We want Tamil schools, temples and jobs in the public sector.

“Is it so difficult for the Government to help the 373 partially-aided schools?”

On Saturday, Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong said ministry officials were meeting school directors and supervisors for their feedback on the status of 523 Tamil schools in the country.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tan Sri Pandithan's last words – THERE IS NO DEATH FOR ME

PUTRAJAYA: The late Indian Progressive Front (IPF) president Tan Sri M.G. Pandithan wrote a note to his wife that read “There is no death for me” in Tamil before falling unconscious at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital on Sunday. He died of cancer at 9am yesterday.

His wife Puan Sri G. Jayashree, 55, said she did not understand what he meant.

However, he could have been paraphrasing the great 20th century Tamil poet Subrahmanya Bharathi, and the verse meant that a person may die but his works will live on after him.

Jayashree said the funeral had to be delayed for their only child Jayan, 21, a fourth-year medical student in Ukraine, to return home.

Pandithan had been hospitalised for over three months.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Pandithan’s passing was a great loss.

“I also appreciate him being a great supporter of the Barisan Nasional,” he told reporters after paying his last respects in Taman Bukit Serdang, Seri Kembangan, yesterday.

Abdullah told Jayashree to be calm because she had a heavy responsibility now.

“I understand that she will be taking over the leadership; so I hope she will be able to cope with the new role and is given support by party members,” he said.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said: “We are shocked by his death and wish to extend our condolences to his family. He worked tirelessly for the Indian community. I will miss him a lot because he was also my friend.”

People’s Progressive Party president Datuk M. Kayveas said the poor, have-nots and illiterates in the Indian community had lost a voice that fought hard for them.

MCA secretary-general Datuk Ong Ka Chuan said Pandithan was a politician with noble principles and cared for the people.